Henry Dinwoodey Moyle

Lawrence R. Flake, Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2001), 213–16.

Henry Moyle portrait

Born: 22 April 1889, Salt Lake City, Utah

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: 10 April 1947 (age 57)

Second counselor to President David O. McKay: 12 June 1959

First counselor to President David O. McKay: 12 October 1961

Died: 18 September 1963 (age 74), Deer Park, Florida

Blessed with tremendous physical vitality and a flexible, alert mind, trained in the fields of science and law, and possessed with a driving power of persuasion, Henry D. Moyle made his mark as a businessman, attorney, soldier, and public servant. Tempering these dynamic qualities with a humble and prayerful heart, with mercy and kindness and a firm testimony of the gospel, Elder Moyle also contributed immeasurably as a general authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—influencing in particular the Welfare Program and missionary work. Born in Salt Lake City 22 April 1889 to James H. and Alice Dinwoodey Moyle, Brother Moyle had a great example of achievement and success upon which to pattern his life, for his father also obtained prominence in both his career as a lawyer and his calling as a servant of God.

Henry D. Moyle was trained first as a scientist; he received a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from the University of Utah in 1909 and studied geology for a year at the world famous mining school in Freiberg, Germany, where he had previously served a three-year mission. He returned to the University of Utah and obtained another degree in science before deciding to study law. This he did, graduating from the University of Chicago and obtaining further training at Harvard Law School.

Brother Moyle’s impressive career included a vigorous law practice and a twenty-five-year appointment in equity law at the University of Utah. He was known for being aggressive and forthright in his defenses, but not rigid and impersonal in his interpretation of laws, giving prime consideration to morals, ethics, and circumstances. He had a long list of successful business ventures to his credit, including trucking and railroad firms, three oil companies, and huge ranching and livestock enterprises, as well as banking, finance, and insurance experience. He interrupted his career very early on to serve his country in World War I, attaining the rank of captain in an infantry division of the United States Army. During World War II, when fuel and other oil products were so vital to survival, he served the country as director of the Petroleum Industries Council.

While accomplishing all of this, Elder Moyle still found time to serve the Lord with dedication. From 1927 to 1937 he was president of the Cottonwood Stake. During World War II he made an impressive case in Washington, D.C, on behalf of the presidency of the Church, which enabled them to obtain the ration of paper they had previously been denied to publish the much needed Improvement Era for circulation among the Latter-day Saint servicemen and women. Appointed chair of the General Church Welfare Committee, Elder Moyle used his tremendous knowledge of business, finance, ranching, and science to extend this program all over the world.

In April 1947 President George Albert Smith ordained him a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. At this time Elder Moyle willingly left behind his vast business affairs to devote his full strength to the work of the Lord. His remarkable business acumen now blessed the entire Church, especially the Welfare Program. During the 1950s he masterminded the Church’s purchase and development of a huge ranch in central Florida, one of the largest in the United States. [1] In June 1959 he became second counselor to President David O. McKay and was appointed chair of the Missionary Committee. He greatly increased the amount of proselyting activity in the Church, virtually doubling the number of missionaries in the field. Upon the death of President J. Reuben Clark Jr., Elder Moyle became President McKay’s first counselor, serving in that position until he died 18 September 1963. [2]

He left behind a gracious wife, Alberta Wright, whom he married in 1919, and six outstanding sons and daughters, whose lives attest to President Moyle’s success as a father. Blessed with an abundance of this world’s goods, Elder Moyle was an extremely generous man. Among other things, he supported dozens of missionaries in their fields of labor. But he realized that he could give even greater gifts to his fellow men: “We may sometimes find satisfaction in sharing our material wealth with others. But far greater satisfaction comes from sharing ourselves, our time, our energy, our affection, and particularly in imparting to others our testimony of God, the power of God unto salvation, the knowledge we possess of God and His purposes.” [3]


[1] Richard D. Poll, Working the Divine Miracle: The Life of Apostle Henry D. Moyle (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1999), 137.

[2] Gordon B. Hinckley, “President Henry Dinwoodey Moyle,” Improvement Era, October 1963, 840–43, 888–90.

[3] Forace Green, Testimonies of Our Leaders (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958), 202.